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Monday, 29 January 2018

Forces Help to Buy: help to get on the property ladder

A scheme to help armed forces personnel get on the property ladder.

The full information on help to buy is available on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/forces-help-to-buy


What is the scheme?
Who can use the scheme?
How much can be borrowed under the scheme?
How to get it?
Find out about buying a home

Useful Links

Money Advice Service: Buying a home

Work out your overall buying and moving costs, first time buyer advice, and tips and tools to help you work out what you can afford: Buying-a-home
Learn about different kinds of mortgages, from repayment and interest-only to shared equity and buy-to-let: Types-of-mortgage
Get started with our beginner's guide to mortgages, getting the right deal, and tips if you're struggling to pay: Help-with-mortgages

Tools to help you get Money Fit

Joining Forces - Access to Credit Unions for Military Personnel

The Ministry of Defence is supporting three of the UK’s leading credit unions to join forces and make saving simple and loans more affordable to the Armed Forces and its Veterans. The money is deducted straight from your pay or pension so you don’t have to think about it.

Carillionamey - Guide to Living in Service Family Accommodation - updated

To view and/or download this latest Guide, please click HERE

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Help for Heroes - Armed Forces Families Suffering in Silence on Blue Monday

One in four admit their well-being is suffering yet stigma is stopping many from speaking up.
In the run up to Blue Monday, Armed Forces Veterans’ charity Help for Heroes is releasing new research which reveals that one in four (23 per cent) partners or family members of an Armed Services Veteran or Service Person state that their own wellbeing and mental health has been directly affected as a result of their family member’s situation. Worryingly, they are suffering in silence as one in eight (16 per cent) said they would try to cope with any issues alone, with only 5 per cent saying they would seek help from a mental health professional.  
It’s the stigma of speaking up as an Armed Services partner or family member that is the main reason many of those surveyed have not spoken up. Worryingly, reasons cited in the research include 39 per cent of those who would try to cope alone stating that they “don’t feel [they] have the right to seek help”, almost half (43 per cent) say they “need to be the strong one”, and 16 per cent admitting they would be “afraid of appearing weak”. One in three would turn to a family member, friend or other veteran wives/families before approaching their GP or a medical professional. 
Depression and anxiety are just two mental health conditions that affect almost one in three (30 per cent) of affected family members of serving and ex-Personnel. 

Help for Heroes estimates that currently this equates to almost 200,0002 partners and family members of Veterans in the UK whose well-being could be suffering and they desperately need emotional support as they care for their loved one1. Of these, it is estimated that approximately 30,000 family3 members are not speaking to anyone about it and are suffering in complete silence. 
For many veterans their problems – physical or emotional - are so overwhelming it affects their whole family. Many wives and partners find themselves struggling to not only care for the veteran, but also hold down a job and keep a family together at the same time.
The private despair these family members suffer had largely gone unnoticed until Help for Heroes launched its Hidden Wounds initiative. The service provides free and confidential support to ex-Service Personnel, their families and the families of those still serving, who are living with anxiety, depression, stress, anger or who wish to change their drinking habits.
Now in its fourth year, Hidden Wounds has already helped almost 2,000 veterans and their families, but tens of thousands more are in need of the unique support offered by the service.
Karen Mead, Head of Psychological Wellbeing, Help for Heroes, said: “Stigma continues to be a big barrier in coming forward for support for serving personnel and veterans but also their families. This is a concern. We need to reach these families to let them know if they need support, we are here for them. Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds offers free and confidential advice to the family members of these Veterans, if they are worried about the impact of their Veteran’s mental health on their own wellbeing.”
She added: “There are tens of thousands of wives, sons, daughters and parents out there who have been so affected by the impact of their loved one’s military service that their mental health is suffering too. Caring for a loved one with physical injuries, or mental health conditions such as PTSD, can lead to serious consequences for the carers’ wellbeing. When Veterans are struggling, their loved ones can be a force for good. Seeking help is a very courageous thing to do. We need to remind families that they are an important part of their veteran’s support network and they are just as deserving of support as their veteran.”
Help for Heroes also offers the Band of Sisters fellowship, a community for family members of wounded, injured or sick Veterans and Service Personnel. The Charity also recently launched its ‘The Force for Good’ campaign to celebrate its 10th anniversary, which recognises the potential in the wounded, injured and sick who have served their country.
Help for Heroes is working with King’s College London to identify better ways to support the loved one’s of ex-service personnel with mental health problems to access care. Family members who are concerned about the mental health of a Veteran close to them can contact Hidden Wounds using the following details:
Tel0808 2020 144 (free from UK landlines)

About Help for Heroes:
Help for Heroes supports those with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British Armed Forces. No matter when someone served, Help for Heroes offers the support they need to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives.
The charity’s specialist teams focus on the five key areas of an individual’s life: medical, mind, body, spirit and family. It provides support to the whole family to help them all cope with the challenges they face.
Long-term recovery is more than repairing damaged bodies and minds; it’s about rebuilding lives.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Tickets for Troops Ticket Notification App

Click HERE for more information

Monday, 22 January 2018

Thursday, 18 January 2018

News from BFPO

To read the latest from BFPO please CLICK HERE

Monday, 15 January 2018

Update from Carillion

Update from Carillion following this morning's announcement:- Housing will continue to be serviced, catering facilities run, and buildings and offices cleaned, as well as other services the company is involved in providing.
There are extensive contingency plans for dealing with issues such as this to make sure that services to personnel and their families continue to be provided to a high standard. This remains a top priority for the department.
The facilities management contracts that provide catering, cleaning and maintenance services to Defence are all joint ventures involving partners in addition to Carillion. Contractually, these partners are required to continue to deliver services if one of the other partners fails. The department remains committed to these joint ventures, and has been working with relevant partners to ensure a smooth continuation of the provision of these services.
The MOD is confident in the robustness of these arrangements and the strength of the supporting suppliers.
Where Carillion is the sole provider of services, for example for construction projects, alternative arrangements are being put into place that will not affect Service personnel.
All Service personnel should continue to use pre-existing processes to report problems, including the use of the 24/7 helpdesk telephone numbers.”

Friday, 12 January 2018

Jobs for Military Spouses: Help AFF Discover What More Needs To Be Done

Can you help AFF to delve deeper into the reasons military spouses and partners choose to, or not to, work, and the associated challenges you face?
We are working with the Warwick Institute for Employment Research to discover how we compare to our civilian counterparts when it comes to accessing and remaining in employment. To help with our research, we are seeking military spouses or partners to take part in interviews and share their employment experiences.
Volunteer to help us with this important piece of work and receive a £15 Amazon voucher for taking part.
Click here to find out more.

AFF and IER in partnership logos

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Staffordshire Police Alert: Attempted Burglary, Stafford

Your latest Smart Alert.

We are appealing for witnesses to an attempted burglary at a home in Stafford on Monday (8th January).

A man entered a residential property on Charnley Road at around 3.15pm
The offender, who was disturbed by the occupant, is described as a white male, of medium build with muscular arms, approximately 5ft 5ins, aged between 30-40 years with shoulder length blonde hair and a long blonde beard. He wore a black short sleeved t-shirt, black jeans and polished black boots.

An investigation to identify the man is now underway and anyone who recognises his description is asked to contact us on 101, quoting incident 465 of 8 January, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Staffordshire Smart Alert - Advice: Safeguarding - Be activity wise - Advice for activity leaders

Your latest Smart Alert.
As the safety of children is everyone's business, the voluntary sector, Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board and Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board have put together some advice for anyone working or volunteering with children and young people so that they are:
  • are able to recognise child abuse and be alert to potential indicators of abuse or abusers
  • have greater confidence in their ability to communicate appropriately with a child or young person
  • share information with others to help inform a good understanding or assessment of a child's or young person's circumstances
  • know how to work together and communicate well with parents or carers.
There is lots of information and training available on safeguarding children that would help support you in your role as an activity leader.
If you lead activities with children and young people, don't forget to C.H.E.C.K. your safeguarding responsibilities:
  • Are you confident that you're qualified to lead the activity?
  • Do you have a history of leading similar activities, and any supporting references?
  • Are you experienced in working with children and young people?
  • Have you undergone any necessary police checks?
  • Do you have a good knowledge of your safeguarding responsibilities?
For more advice, visit your local safeguarding children board website:

Carillionamey - Service Families Accommodation: Self Help Video Guides: Boilers, Radiators & Electricity

CarillionAmey Self Help Guide - Boilers

CarillionAmey Self Help Guide - Radiators

CarillionAmey Self Help Guide - Electricity

Click on the play icon to watch....

NHS - Use The Right Service

No automatic alt text available.

Pharmacists can advise on a wide range of common illnesses and ailments: https://www.nhs.uk/staywell#gu8x9mgj1dA4kjOT.97

Help for Heroes - Career Recovery

Career Recovery - Leaving The Military? 


Dental Centre Information for Serving Personnel on Beacon Barracks

Dental Information For Serving Personnel

Opening Hours

Mon-Thur:  0800-1230  1330-1700
Friday: 0800 1330

Sick Parade

You must contact the dental centre by 0800 to arrange a dental emergency appointment.

Emergency Out Side Working Hours

Contact the Guardroom on 01785 787494

Annual Inspection

All personnel should make themselves aware of their annual recall date this can be done by contacting the centre on Ext: 7220

Stafford Lancers Marching Bands

We are a marching band and are looking for new young people to join our ranks and anyone that is interested in Marching Music.

We have an open night this Thursday at Sir Graham Balfour High School 7pm till 9pm and possibly the Thursday after.

It is open to anyone 10 years or above no experience necessary we provide all instruments and training and lots of fun.

Stafford Sports and Performance Academy Choir Thursday Nights

Dance Classes for Children at St John the Baptist Church Hall Stafford Every Thursday

Wriggle Bugs and Boogie Bugs

Contact details

Helen Yeomans
07747 036422

Creative dance and movement classes for boys and girls aged 6mths to 4 years old. They are a chance to spin, jump, stretch and learn in a friendly relaxed setting. The classes involve singing, action games, creating dance stories and learning steps whilst being a fun way to improve co-ordination, balance, and confidence by drawing on your child's imagination and natural movement ability.

If you would like more information and to book your child a space then please give me a call or send me and email.
Runs on: Thursdays

Other Information

Classes take place on :
Thursday mornings St John the Baptist Church Hall, Bedford Avenue, Stafford ST16
Boogie Bugs for 2&3 year olds 9.45am-10.30am
Wriggle Bugs for 6mths to 2 years old 10.45am-11.15am

Places must be booked in advance and are paid for as a term. Your child can come and try a Taster class (£4.50 for Boogie Bugs or £3.50 for Wriggle Bugs) before committing for the rest of the term.
You can now follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/WriggleBugsandBoogieBugsDance

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Job Opportunities with Custom Care Staffordshire

Finney's Cleaning for your March out

Click on Images to Enlarge

NHS E-Learning Programme - Armed Forces Healthcare

Health Education England e-learning for Healthcare, with support from NHS England, has launched an e-learning programme to help increase understanding of the armed forces population and facilitate improved care and treatment.
This e-learning programme is designed to highlight both the similarities and the differences to allow healthcare personnel to understand both the context of military life and also how to appropriately respond to patient need.
The programme is broken into three broad areas – the NHS care of current serving personnel, the NHS care of the families of military personnel and veterans, and finally veterans themselves.
For more information, please CLICK HERE

Wolverhampton Ex-Forces Drop-In - 2nd Thursday of Each Month

Click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Royal British Legion Events 2018

There are lots of events throughout the year including commemorative and Remembrance events, fundraising activities and those that are just plain fun.

Monday, 8 January 2018